There always seems to be more inside; that is the problem.
March 21, 2011 6:41 AM   Subscribe

We are coming up to hay fever season where I live and I usually suffer badly for a week or two every spring. Here is something I have wondered for years: why does a nose that sometimes drips and runs continuously for sixteen hours a day dry up and stop for the other eight while I am asleep?
posted by ricochet biscuit to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps it has to do with histamine production slowing or reducing in the body during sleep? Taking an ANTIhistamine often makes you sleepy, as well as drying you up. Same process? *shrug* I for one am thankful for the respite.
posted by elendil71 at 7:07 AM on March 21, 2011

Maybe when you're standing up, the mucus drips out of the front of the nose, but when you're lying down, you get post-nasal drip, and you don't notice it as much?
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:13 AM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Drier air in your bedroom? Maybe you get a bit dehydrated during the night? Less pollen around at night and/or your bedroom is more isolated from pollen coming in from outdoors?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:17 AM on March 21, 2011

Response by poster: To clarify: so far as I know, this is not just mine but everybody who expereinces this. Or am I wrong? Do others wake up in puddles of mucus when they have a cold?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:30 AM on March 21, 2011

I have very bad allergies, and I absolutely suffer from them at night too. It's better now that I have set up a HEPA filter in my sleeping area (which is an open-plan loft, so I'm not able to fully seal off from circulating with the pollinated air in the rest of my cabin).

At the height of allergy season I often wake up at 3 or 4AM with a running nose and that terrible itch at the back of my soft palate. My experience is that "24-hour Claritin" is more like "20-hour Claritin." I get up, take my Claritin for the day, and try to go back to sleep.

For those who are less sensitive, or who do not live in the middle of the woods, pollen levels do drop at night. Some pollens peak right at daylight, and others rise steadily throughout the day to peak at mid to late afternoon. But by bedtime, the pollen levels have dropped dramatically.

The years I worked night shift were a real miracle, let me tell you. I could go outside in summer without fear! Sure it was dark as hell and you couldn't really do anything. But still! Outside!

Your bedroom also probably has less pollen in the air. The rest of your house has people tramping in and out, opening and closing doors, and otherwise bringing pollen in with the breeze. But most bedrooms are situated such that they don't get much traffic - which is to say, pollen - during the day.

Finally, you probably sleep with the window closed. Maybe even the door closed. These things will also reduce your pollen load further.
posted by ErikaB at 10:59 AM on March 21, 2011

My experience is that "24-hour Claritin" is more like "20-hour Claritin."

I'm lucky if I can get 16 to 18 hours out of it. And only 12 of those hours are really good.

Mine definitely runs at night, more so if I sleep with a window open. But the difference is that it runs all down the back of my throat and I have to deal with a scratchy throat the first hour of the morning.

What I've started doing is a zyrtec (or claritin; whatever works for you) in the morning, and then a benedryl or two before bed. I used to take the claritin-D but after two months of that my mucus membranes are far too dried out. But it really, really works wonders.
posted by sbutler at 12:38 PM on March 21, 2011

By the way, Allegra is now OTC here in the US.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 4:55 PM on March 21, 2011

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